Tag Archives: guilt

When You’re In It … You Can’t See it!

Have you ever been in a dark room? I mean REALLY dark … so dark that you cannot see your hand when you hold it up to your face.  You cannot see darkness nor can you see anything within that darkness. The fact is … there is no such thing as darkness. Darkness is simply the absence of light and its different intensities.

Life is much the same. For those who have had marital problems, received a chronic illness diagnosis, or experienced financial ruin, they know what darkness looks like. Marital counseling, a good doctor or financial planner can bring light to the darkness. Letting the light into the life situation allows for the proverbial “light” at the end of the tunnel. Until then, hopelessness is the darkest place we know.

The disease of addiction is darkness for the addict and those that love them (co-dependents.) Unlike other diseases, the stigma connected with this disease adds shame and guilt to the hopelessness often preventing those affected to seek the light. The disease of addiction is so cunning that it convinces the addict to stay in the darkness of denial rather than expose their problem to the light for all to see.

This morning I learned that two young women I know, both in their early 20’s and both with a young child, lost this battle yesterday.  They refused to see their problem, keeping it in the darkness and not allowing the light to expose them. One died of an overdose yesterday. The other is in a coma on life support with no chance of recovery.

Faith Farm Ministries is a 65 year old, free, faith based drug and alcohol recovery program with 445 beds for men and women. It is that safe place where people can emerge from the addiction darkness into the light with no shame or guilt. Light gives new hope, new purpose and new life. I am aware of nowhere else that provides a free program with free education, including recovery classes for up to 9 college credits, GED Classes, life-skills and spiritual classes, vocational training and life counseling.  We help those who want to heal, restore their families and contribute to their communities.

If you want to help Faith Farm in its mission to save lives, you can text FAITHFARM to 41444 or visit www.faithfarm.org and click the Ways to Give tab to make a gift. For every $1 you gift and invest in our addiction recovery program, there is a tax dollar savings to you estimated at $12 in reduced drug-related crime, criminal justice costs, theft and health care expenses. (Source: Association of Gospel Rescue Missions) 

About the author:  Judy Walters is the Project Manager for Faith Farm Ministries and serves on the ministries’ Academic Board serving as the Board Secretary. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Oceanside Emmaus community and is a published author,  copy writer and editor. Audiences are sure to have valuable take-a-ways when Judy is the presenter as she draws on her past with her own powerful testimony to inspire and equip audiences in recovery from issues like addiction, co-dependency, abuse and low self-esteem. Her favorite thing is teaching, whether at the pulpit or in the classroom. She strongly conveys the healing nature of Christ through the Celebrate Recovery materials combined with knowledge from The Alpha Series materials by Pastor John Glenn. She is the Celebrate Recovery of Boynton Beach Ministry Leader. She provides administration, marketing, social media, event planning, donor development, customer service and public relations for Faith Farm as the ministry’s Project Manager.
As a mother of four with a former real estate career spanning 25 years, she has many stories and life lessons worth sharing. Redirection of her passion has led her to become a licensed minister and a counselor with compassion and a powerful message of hope for those who struggle with life controlling issues. She has a genuine love for ALL of God’s people and cherishes diversity. She is a friendly and enthusiastic disciple with a mission to show others what agape love looks like. Her goal is to remove the stereotype and preconceived stigma of addiction and recovery by showing others that recovery from life’s hurts, habits and hang-ups can be fun and even fruitful. “People in recovery for any life controlling issues are the strongest, bravest and most transparent people I know, and I admire their courage.”
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Why Don’t You Just “STOP IT”?

On Mad TV’s Season 6, in the year 2001, Bob Newhart had a guest appearance acting in the role of a Life Coach, Dr. Switzer, in a skit called “Stop It”.  It’s a classic … so very funny.  You can search “Stop It” on YouTube and watch it here, too!  In this 6 minute video, a counseling session unfolds with an unsuspecting, new client, Catherine Bigman, who struggles with fears, eating disorders and relationship dysfunction.  I might add that the new client was a referral! 

I have used this video numerous times in recovery meetings and step classes.  Because of its sarcasm, it always gets a chuckle, if not a healthy laugh.  It also removes the stigma connected with issues, allowing people to open up and truly initiate their pursuit of getting serious help.    

The good doctor’s remedy was a simple two words … “STOP IT”!  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if it were that easy?  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if hurts, habits and hang-ups could be cured with this simple directive?  All of our anger and resentments, addictions and co-dependency, depression and lack of integrity:  All of them would simply disappear with a simple “STOP IT!”

If you haven’t had any life struggles, then you are either truly blessed, or in complete denial (Go directly to Step 1 of the 12 Steps!)  But for the majority of the human race, there is dysfunction; on top of struggles; on top of character defects; caused by … “God only knows”!  Life is very complicated and “Stop It” is not practical advice:  Comical, but not practical.

If you had cancer or diabetes, and I told you to “STOP IT”, would you be able?  Of course not!  You would seek the best doctors, medicines and counseling.  No shame, no guilt!  You didn’t choose to be sick.  You also know you would not be able to “STOP IT” with some plan and a support system.

Addiction is no different and  “STOP IT” is not a treatment, rehabilitation, a plan or a support system.  I don’t know anyone who chose the disease of addiction.  Why is there such shame and guilt?  If you don’t understand the disease, then perhaps you have always thought it was a choice.  An addict should simply not use drugs.  An alcoholic should STOP drinking.  Right?

This thinking is as ridiculous as the Bob Newhart skit!  It is this attitude that creates the shame and guilt that prevents an addict from their pursuit of getting serious help before it becomes a terminal illness. And, for those who do still have this thinking angle, I’ve got two words for you.  Write this down!  “STOP IT”! 

 

 

Judy Walters’ blog at www.Judy-Walters.com, called Contentment In All Circumstances (in Spite of Addiction, Chaos & Drama)draws help from Apostle Paul in his letter to the Church of Philippi.  Like Paul, Judy seeks to help others accomplish what she has learned in living and working around addiction and co-dependency  … “for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, to be content.” Philippians 4:11.  This is truly the “Peace that surpasses all understanding.”

Judy joined the corporate staff of Faith Farm Ministries in April, 2008. She is responsible for project management, public relations, marketing, event planning, and communications. She serves as Adjunct Faculty at South Florida Bible College & Theological Seminary, the Academic Board Secretary, CWT Committee Member and the Faith Farm Alumni Association Registrar & Liaison. She enjoys teaching classes at Faith Farm’s women’s home as well as Celebrate Recovery Step Study Classes. Her career began as a paralegal followed by a span of 28 years as a real estate broker specializing in shopping center management, leasing and marketing. Judy has served on several non-profit Boards. She is currently a Board Member of the local Emmaus community. She is also a Team Member for Celebrate Recovery Boynton Beach. She has extensive experience in teaching and leading small groups, including recovery groups, bible studies, discipleship classes and even girl scouts and boy scouts. Judy grew up Pittsburgh moved to Florida in May of 1977. She and her husband, Larry, have one daughter and son-in-law, three sons and a granddaughter. Judy finds contentment in all circumstances and perceives every day as a victory … every mess as a message … and every test as a testimony. She enjoys reading, writing, social media, campfires, rainbows, butterflies, thunderstorms, baby laughs, and music of nearly all genres, but mostly praise music.  

Please contact: JudyWalters12@gmail.com

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